Ellen Herman

Associate Professor of Geology

About Ellen Herman

Educational Background

  • Ph.D. in Geosciences, Pennsylvania State University
    Dissertation title: Quantitative studies of suspended sediment in karst aquifers
    William B. White, advisor
    Honors: Richard R. Parizek Graduate Fellowship, Cave Research Foundation Grant, Krynine Fund Grants
  • M.S. in Geosciences, Pennsylvania State University
    Thesis title: Numerical models of ancient and modern microbial mats
    Lee R. Kump, advisor
    Honors: Knopf Scholarship
  • B.S. in Environmental Science, The College of William & Mary
    Honors: Virginia Scholar, Monroe Scholar, National Merit Finalist

Research Interests

  • karst hydrology
  • sediment transport in karst aquifers
  • subsurface fluid flow

My current research focuses on karst hydrology. I am particularly interested in how water and sediment flow through and shape karst systems. While I have concentrated mostly on springs like Arch Spring, pictured at right, I am also interested in what happens before the water and sediment reach the spring.


  • Hydrogeology
  • Environmental Geology

Selected Publications


Herman, E.K., Toran, L., and White, W.B., 2008, 2009, Quantifying the place of karst aquifers in the groundwater to surface water continuum: a time series analysis study of storm behavior in Pennsylvania water resources. Journal of Hydrology 376 (1-2), 307-317, DOI: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2009.07.043.

Herman, E.K., Toran, L., and White, W.B., 2008, Threshold events in spring discharge: evidence from sediment and continuous water level measurement. Journal of Hydrology 351 (1-2), 98-106.

Toran, L., Herman, E.K., and White, W.B., 2007, Comparison of flow paths to a well and spring in a karst aquifer.Ground Water 45, 281-287.

Herman, E.K., Tancredi, J., Toran, L., and White, W.B., 2007, Mineralogy of suspended sediment in karst springs in relation to spring water chemistry. Hydrogeology Journal 15, 255-266.

Toran, L., Tancredi, J.H., Herman, E.K., and White, W.B., 2006, Conductivity and sediment variation during storms as evidence of pathways in karst springs, in Harmon, R.S., and Wicks, C., eds., Perspectives on karst geomorphology, hydrology, and geochemistry – A tribute volume to Derek C. Ford and William B. White.Geological Society of America Special Paper 404, 169-176.

Herman, E.K. and Kump, L.R., 2005, Response of microbial mats to Precambrian environmental conditions: a modeling study. Geobiology 3, 77-92.

Further Information

Contact Details